Today, in our ongoing “Truth from Arkansas” series, we have a new sermon from one of the brethren down under. Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaches from Luke 18:1-8 on “The Unjust Judge and the Nagging Widow.” This sermon was delivered on Sunday, November 14th.
Pastor Roger Copeland – The Unjust Judge and the Nagging Widow
We’re nearing the end of the month, so it’s time once again for some 31st Century frivolity!
After defeating an assault against a refugee camp by Earth Firsters in LSH #5, the Legion takes a break in…
Legion of Super-Heroes #6: Acceptance Writer: Paul Levitz, Penciler: Francis Portela DC Comics, December 2010
The mostly non-action vignettes in LSH #6 begin with Colossal Boy, Phantom Girl, and Shadow Lass intercepting a wayward Titan refugee family (opening page graphic above). After returning to Legion Headquarters, Shadow Lass converses with Phantom Girl and defends her romantic interest in the unpredictable Earth Man.
Back at the Painted Desert refugee camp, Earth Man once again demonstrates his loyalty to the Legion by stymying an attack by a lone wolf, Earth Firster.
At Legion Headquarters, Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl enjoy some conversation as Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass depart for a vacation on the planet, Imsk.*
Elsewhere in Metropolis, Colossal Boy and girlfriend, Chameleon Girl, enjoy a meal and discuss Earth Man with CB’s mom, former President of Earth and current Earth Gov Politico.
Back at Legion HQ, Earth Man confronts Brainiac 5 and demands a standard issue flight ring without any mind-control capabilities.
Legion leader, Cosmic Boy, visits the Legion Academy at Old Montauk Point and watches as instructor Duplicate Girl puts candidates Chemical Kid, Comet Queen, Dragonwing, Gravity Kid, and Variable Lad through the paces.
Sensor Girl dreams of her slain beau and former-Legionnaire, Karate Kid, portending a future plot-line development.
After returning to Legion HQ, Cosmic Boy meets with Science Police chiefs, Gigi Cusimano and Kimball Zendek (who we know is actually a disguised Durlan conspirator), and pledges the Legion’s support in protecting the United Planets Council from an assassination plot.
In the final page, former-Legionnaire, Matter-Eater Lad, invites readers to cast their ballot for the new Legion leader via a designated web site.
Other Legionnaires sighted in this issue include Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Timber Wolf.
This is one of those “down-time” interlude issues with writer Levitz adroitly juggling multiple vignettes. Earth Man remains a big question mark and the Durlan conspiracy looms dangerously on the horizon. Sensor Girl’s dream introduces an upcoming storyline. Of course, we’re all on “pins and needles” as to which Legionnaire will be elected as Cosmic Boy’s successor. There’s also the dangling plotline, not mentioned in this issue, involving the possible new Green Lantern, Professor Harmonia Li.
Chameleon Girl’s appearance gives us 25 Legionnaires, one short of the 26 person roster total mentioned in LSH #4. I’m thinking Duplicate Girl is a reservist at this point as an instructor at the academy. Polar Boy is mentioned briefly and I’m guessing he is Legionnaire #26.
*Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass are portrayed hand-around-hip in a large panel on page 11. Legion writers and artists began surreptitiously hinting at a same-sex relationship between the two characters as early as 1986. Of course, all such “tip-toeing around” is gone these days with DC unabashedly introducing the new Superman, Jon Kent, as bi-sexual.
Week #3 in the 2021 Leaf Campaign saw my tarp total reach 28, about 47% of the projected grand total of 60 tarps. How did things go this past week #4?
After my three-day work-weekend, I woke up Monday morning to a backyard full of leaves. I strapped on my trusty Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower and corralled all of the leaves into two large piles and ended up dragging 7 tarpfulls to the curb. I could have dragged more, but I didn’t want to overtax myself as I had the previous Monday.
I woke up Tuesday morning to a couple of inches of snow covering the yard, definitely not good circumstances for leaf removal. Good thing I had a couple of leaf piles leftover from Monday, enabling me to drag 4 tarpfulls to the curb.
Snow still covered the ground Wednesday morning, but a high of 48F was predicted. By 3PM, most of the snow in the backyard had melted. I fired up my Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower, corralled all of the backyard leaves, and hauled 7 tarpfulls top the curb, once again purposely limiting myself.
Thursday was Thanksgiving, but family wasn’t coming over for dinner until 4PM, so I was able to hit the leaves pretty hard. I raked up the leaves that inevitably gather near the front of the house, taking 2 full tarpfulls to the curb. I then cleaned up the mound of leaves in the backyard leftover from Wednesday, hauling 2 more tarps to the road. I hadn’t cleaned up the front yard in awhile and it had a healthy accumulation of leaves, so I started up my Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower and blew all of those leaves to the curb.
Friday was a work holiday and I had intended to get some rest, but the morning was perfect for leaf duty so I fired up the Husqvarna and cleaned up the backyard and both side yards. The result? 4 more tarps to the curb.
Wow! Week #4 was very productive! I hauled 26 tarps to the curb in five days, bringing my total tarp tally for the 2021 Leaf Campaign to 54 tarps. As you can see from the above photo right, probably around 10%-15% of the leaves are still on the trees. Can we finally put this campaign to bed in week #5?
Last weekend, I had speculated that Marcus Lamb, prosperity Gospeler, outspoken anti-vaxxer, and co-owner of the Daystar cable network with wife, Joni (photo above), had contracted COVID-19. The Lambs’ social media accounts were predictably hush-hush regarding his illness, however, I did some research and found a post from fellow-prosperity shyster, Perry Stone, on his Facebook account, asking for prayers for Marcus:
“November 18 – URGENT PRAYER REQUEST! I am asking all of you who believe in the power of prayer to pray for my very close friend, Marcus Lamb, the founder of the Daystar Television Network. He is presently being treated for a severe case of COVID. His oxygen has been low…” (click on the hyper-link for Stone’s FB post).
Two things: 1) I thought prosperity-gospelers weren’t supposed to get sick. Marcus must not have enough faith. But why didn’t one of his faith-healer buddies go to the hospital and heal him? 2) I wonder what anti-vaxxers, Marcus and Joni Lamb, think of C-19 vaccines now? Shame on them. How many credulous viewers got sick or even died because of the Lambs’ anti-vax hokum?
The election of Roman Catholic and abortion-supporter, Joe Biden, roiled conservative American Catholic bishops and sparked a year-long “wafer wars.” The conservative prelates insisted that Democratic Party politicians who supported pro-abortion legislation be barred from receiving the Jesus wafer and the other RCC sacraments. Church moderates and progressives (including pope Francis) were opposed to the ban. The bishops met back in June and official sanctions against Biden and other pro-abortion politicians were in the works, but the Jesus wafer guidelines approved at last week’s follow-up meeting included only a mild, non-specific slap on the wrist for pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Bergoglio and the progressives had won this particular battle and the “wafer wars” appear to be over.
American Catholics like to portray themselves as victims of American Protestant sectarianism and defenders of religious freedom, but purposely fail to mention the larger historical context involving the severe persecution of Protestants in Catholic-controlled European and Latin American countries.
Last weekend, we included a story about the platform speakers of the Christian nationalist, “Reawaken America Tour,” whipping the crowd at Cornerstone Church of San Antonio into a frenzied chant of “Let’s Go Brandon,” a euphemism for an expletive directed at POTUS, Joe Biden. Pastor Matt Hagee has apologized for the outburst and disavowed any affiliation with the “Reawaken America Tour.” I wouldn’t step foot in the Hagees’ church because of the heterodox theology, but I give them credit for the apology.
The above article is three-years-old, but serves as a helpful resource in this discussion. Last Sunday, November 21st, I was driving home from work listening to the Catholic Answers talk radio show and the hosts were mentioning that the day was the celebration of the “Presentation of the Virgin Mary in the Temple” on the RCC liturgical calendar. The alleged event is an apocryphal tale involving Mary’s parents (allegedly named Joachim and Anna) presenting the young girl at the Jerusalem temple for consecration. Untethered from Scripture, Roman Catholicism is filled with similar “sacred tradition” bogus fables and myths.
Today, we continue our weekly series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018). Thanks for joining me.
Claim #18: I am a Catholic because of the angels, and their invisible and anonymous mediation
In this chapter, Kreeft expresses his gratitude for his guardian angel, whom he speculates played a major role in his “conversion” to Roman Catholicism, “as well as in many other good things that..happened in (his) life” (p. 63). Kreeft then expresses his pity for Protestants because they’re not “at home” with angels the way Catholics are.
Angels are powerful spiritual beings referenced in both the Old and New Testaments. Angels (from the Greek: angelos: “messenger”) serve as messengers and agents of God. The Catholic church has created an extensive angelology based upon extra-biblical myths, legends, and speculation. Catholicism’s tradition of a personal guardian angel for every individual is an extrapolation of Matthew 18:10, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” But does that verse actually teach a personal guardian angel for every individual as Kreeft and RC-ism claim? No, it does not. See the article below for an excellent exegesis of Matthew 18:10. As a Catholic grammar school student in the 1960s, the nuns taught us quite a bit about our alleged guardian angels, how they actively helped and protected us. This took the focus off of God in much the same way as Catholicism’s veneration/worship of Mary. God’s angels would certainly want our focus to be on God, not on them.
Down through the centuries, Catholic artists portrayed angels as fanciful, winged beings, often with little or no clothing. Angel art was used as a sanctioned opportunity to present nude or semi-nude figures to pruriently curious viewers. See the works of “devout” French-Catholic painter, William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905), as just one example.
For this week’s Throwback Thursday installment, I’m republishing this short post from previous years about something that never gets old; being grateful to the Lord for His bountiful blessings!
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my brothers and sisters in the Lord here at the WordPress blogosphere! May your time today with your family and friends be joyous as we contemplate all of our blessings in Christ Jesus!
“Natural Harmony” (2:11) Written by Chris Hillman Produced by Gary Usher From “The Notorious Byrd Brothers,” Columbia, January 15th, 1968
Most people know the Byrds for their initial, jingly-jangly, folk-rock phase marked by the iconic 1965 singles, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” But the band went on to pioneer a variety of novel musical styles including jazz-rock, raga-rock, psychedelic-rock, and county-rock. The band reached its creative peak with the albums, “Younger Than Yesterday” (1967) and “The Notorious Byrd Brothers” (1968). The excellence of “Notorious” is quite remarkable given that David Crosby and Michael Clarke were absent from half of the recording sessions due to having been fired and having quit the band respectively.
“Natural Harmony,” song #17 in our Byrds’ Top 25 Songs countdown, is a deep cut on the “Notorious” LP. Bassist, Chris Hillman, penned this ode to joie de vivre* with its evocative chorus,
Dancing through the streets side by side, head thrown back, arms open wide.
We can definitely hear Hillman’s bandmate, David Crosby’s influence in this song, with it’s laid-back, jazzy, ethereal feel. Producer Gary Usher employed several studio effects that were popular at that time to create perhaps the Byrds’ most psychedelic-sounding song. Guest keyboardist, Paul Beaver, contributes some other-worldly effects with the newly-introduced Moog Synthesizer. “Natural Harmony” was one of the earliest rock tunes to feature the Moog. Jim Gordon fills in expertly for Clarke on the drum kit.
On perhaps the Byrds’ finest album, this was one of my favorite tunes. The studio effects no doubt date this song, but it’s an excellent specimen from the psychedilia era. We’ll be revisiting “Notorious” two more times as we continue to count down the Byrds’ Top 25 Songs.
*Joie de vivre (French: “exuberant enjoyment of life”) is a fleeting mirage outside of salvation in Jesus Christ.
As I reported last Monday, the leaves on our oak trees were finally beginning to turn color and drop in earnest. How did week #3 in the leaf campaign go?
Monday’s forecast called for rain and snow, but the leaf campaign doesn’t stop for weather. At 11AM, I strapped on my Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower and blew all of the leaves that had fallen in the backyard over the weekend into two very large piles. I then commenced raking the leaves onto the tarp and dragging the tarp to the front and dumping them along the curb. Because of the drizzle and snow, the leaves and the tarp were wet and heavy. The wet grass did not facilitate dragging the tarp, either. I finished at 3PM, totally exhausted. I ended up dragging 12 tarpfulls to the curb. I believe my record haul for a single day is 13 tarps. Needless to say, I was semi-comatose the rest of the afternoon and evening until I finally hit the sack.
Unlike Monday, Tuesday was a nice, sunny day. While the leaves continued to fall, there wasn’t a huge accumulation overnight. I leafblowed the east side of the backyard and collected and dragged 3 tarpfulls to the curb, a relative and much-needed respite compared to the previous day. I also blew the leaves in the front yard to the curb and mowed the front lawn for the last time this season.
Wednesday was an overcast day, but no rain. I leafblowed the west side of the backyard, collecting and dragging 2 tarpfulls to the curb. I also mowed the backyard west side for the last time of the season.
Rain was forecast for Thursday and at the crack of dawn I could see the leaves coming down fast as the low-pressure system moved in and the wind picked up. Then the rain started. Would Thursday be a wash out? The campaign doesn’t stop for a little wet weather! I strapped on my Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower and collected all of the leaves in the backyard into two big mounds. Just like Monday, the leaves were heavy from the rain and I quit after 5 tarpfulls, leaving the second mound of leaves for Monday.
The 22 tarps I collected in week #3 was a very decent haul. That gives me a total of 28 tarps so far in the campaign, 47% of the projected 60 tarp goal. I have a long way to go.
Huh? Hang on a second, folks.
“What’s that, dear? The to-do list? Sorry, the to-do list is on-ice until January!”
Looking out the sliding glass doors at our backyard this morning, I see that a lot of leaves fell over the course of my work-weekend. I definitely have my work cut out for me for week #4.
The American Catholic church has a two-headed “crisis” on its hands and the U.S. Catholic bishops met in Baltimore this past week to address it (photo above). The crisis involves the Catholic communion wafer. The Roman church claims its priests transform bread wafers and wine into the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ at its masses. The RCC teaches its members that consuming the Jesus wafer provides graces that will help them obey the Ten Commandments in order to merit Heaven. But Catholics with unconfessed mortal sin on their soul are theoretically banned from receiving the Jesus wafer. Challenging the traditional doctrine are 1) Catholic politicians like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi who support pro-abortion legislation and also maintain they are Catholics in good standing (with the pope’s public support), and 2) recent surveys which reveal that 70% of the American Catholic laity believe the consecrated communion elements are merely symbols and not the actual body and blood of Jesus. A “guidance” document on the “eucharist,” endorsed by the bishops on Wednesday, reemphasizes traditional Catholic teaching regarding the Jesus wafer and mentions the obligation of Catholic public figures/politicians to demonstrate moral consistency between their personal faith and their public actions. The document did not specifically cite Biden, Pelosi, or abortion. While some view the guidelines as a compromise between the conservative and progressive RC camps, others see it as a first-step in a conservative clampdown. Let’s come back to this next weekend after the dust settles. What has all of this got to do with the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone? That’s right, absolutely nothing.
In this op-ed posted at the pro-ecumenical, Christian Post website, Lutheran pastor, Dan Delzell, naively proposes that Catholics and Protestants can agree on “three foundational points of Christian doctrine” and should be able to reconcile. Delzell asks rhetorically, “Is every Christian forgiven and justified the moment the Holy Spirit converts their soul through faith in Jesus? Or do you have to add some of your own works in order to be justified before God and forgiven of your sins?” Delzell is evidently expecting both Gospel Christians and Catholics to respond to the question in kind, exemplifying the naivete of many/most believers when it comes to Roman Catholicism. The Roman church unapologetically teaches baptismal regeneration and justification via sacramental grace and merit. “Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 2010). The lack of knowledge and discernment among evangelicals regarding Roman Catholicism and its false gospel is stunning.
The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” investigative journalism team first exposed the widespread sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests and the systematic cover-up by the church hierarchy way back in 2002. The RC church has never concretely addressed this abuse and cover-up calamity. For Pope Francis to “thank” journalists for exposing this institutional evil is the ultimate in hypocrisy and calculated duplicity.
Prompted by platform speakers of the Christian nationalist, “Reawaken America Tour,” the crowd at Cornerstone megachurch in San Antonio, Texas (John Hagee, NAR), broke into an enthusiastic chant of “Let’s Go Brandon,” a code phrase for an expletive directed at POTUS, Joe Bidden. In the New Testament, we do not find examples of the Gospel being conflated with political zealotry. If anything, the New Testament identifies political zealots as misdirected. The crowd’s conduct at this so-called “church” was blatantly anti-Christian. Imagine a New Testament church congregation chanting thinly-veiled expletives at the Roman emperor during a worship service, with the apostle, Paul, in attendance. Man, he would be livid!
C.S. Lewis propagated an aberrant brand of Christianity that accommodated baptismal regeneration, belief in purgatory, confession of sins to priests, a view of Scripture as errant, and denial of penal substitutionary atonement. Yet evangelicals fawn over the former Oxford professor due to intellectual snob appeal. See my critique of Lewis’ wide-is-the-way “Mere Christianity” here.
Rochester is a mid-sized city in Western New York with a population of 205,000. Rochester’s 75 homicides for 2021, as of November 15th, ranks it as having one of the highest murder rates per capita in the entire nation. One of the contributing factors, in addition to the general breakdown of society, is the less-than-dismal economic situation in Western New York, precipitated by sky-high taxes and the collapse of once-dominant manufacturing companies (i.e., Kodak and Xerox). U.S. Census data shows Rochester ranks behind only Detroit and Cleveland as the poorest cities in the nation.
My employer followed the Federal policy change and extended its mandatory vax deadline from December 8th to January 4th. In the meantime, I received my Pfizer booster vaccine two weeks ago. As colder temps drive gatherings indoors, Rochester-area hospitals are reporting a dramatic rise in COVID-19 related cases, especially among the unvaccinated. Speaking of the COVID vaccine, prosperity gospeler, Joni Lamb, co-owner of the Daystar cable network with her husband, Marcus Lamb, has been fomenting anti-vax conspiracy hysteria for many months. While channel surfing several evenings ago, I stopped at Daystar and heard the Lamb’s son, Jonathan, and his wife, Suzy, fretting about Marcus being hospitalized and in serious condition with Joni by his bedside, although the illness was not specified. Strangely, there is no mention…zero, zip, nada…of Marcus’ hospitalization or illness on the Lamb’s or Daystar’s social media sites. Is this another example of COVID cover-up?